The Eyeflash Miracles



This story is loaded with Oz book references. Many of the early Oz books have a journey with a lost child who makes friends along the way. Little Tib is compared to:

  1. Tip/Ozma from the Marvelous Land of Oz, the rightful ruler of Oz who was tranformed into a boy and hidden.
  2. Dorothy herself, with the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion as companions in The Wizard of Oz. She also finds and winds up Tiktok, the copper clockwork man, in Ozma of Oz.
  3. Ojo the Unlucky from The Patchwork Girl of Oz, on a quest to save his uncle who was turned to stone. The word "ojo" in Spanish means "eye." Ojo lived in isolation with his uncle until the need for food drove them onto the road.
  4. The Woozy from The Patchwork Girl of Oz, a boxy beast whose eyes flash real fire when it's angry. It was fenced in and isolated until Ojo and his friends found it and showed it how to use the fire to burn through the wooden fence.
  5. Button-Bright, the little boy who was always getting lost. He calls himself Button-Bright because his mother says he is bright as a button. (Little Tib also calls himself by a nickname his mother gave him). The three at the end: Dorothy, the Shaggy Man, and Button-Bright are the first three companions in The Road to Oz. In Sky Island, Button Bright had a magic umbrella that could carry him through the air like Mary Poppins (see the wind reference below).
  6. Shaggy Man's brother in Tiktok of Oz, a miner who was kidnapped by Gnomes and imprisoned in a cavern filled with a forest of precious metal and jewels like the one described. He eats "Hotel Nuts" which contain full meals (unlike in this story, they are not excessively hot). The Shaggy Man leads a group to rescue his brother.
  7. Chick the Cherub, an "incubator baby" whose gender is never revealed. There seems to be no doubt about Little Tib's male gender, but he has a female aspect too, manifested as the angelic Dorothy. The "p" and "b" reversal suggests the Greek male and female symbols. One of Chick's friends is Para Bruin, a bear made of rubber.

The waving bear in the woods is another Oz reference. Nitty had just suggested to George that there might be bears in the woods, so the bear was probably a miraculous manifestation. All animals in Oz can communicate.

"A kite-flying west wind was blowing," is a reference to the Disney movie version of Mary Poppins. When the wind changes to the west Mary Poppins departs, her mission accomplished. The healed Banks family is left happily flying a kite. The two policewomen may be a reference to the nannies that blew away when Poppins arrived. Their names are Alice and Mickie (Mickey), both Disney characters.

"The city came down like a cloud" combines the image of the Emerald City of Oz with the New Jerusalem from the book of Revelations, which the writer saw "coming down out of heaven from God."

Blindness is common in this dystopia -- there are eight blind children besides Little Tib in a small school. The implication is that the frequent retina scanning can cause cumulative damage.

The red-and-white-striped building that Tiktok comes from in Little Tib's dream suggests a barber pole. Barbers were the doctors in the middle ages. The meaning of this symbol in the dream may be that Little Tib will need medical attention to survive but that it will be hard to get unless he is able to get someone in the hospital to think for themselves.

In The Road to Oz, a hobo who calls himself Shaggy Man asks Dorothy to direct him to the road to Butterfield. She does so, and he sets out the other way because a man in Butterfield owes him money and Shaggy Man doesn't want to collect it. (This matches Ditty's feeling about the ungrateful Mr. Parker). Dorothy and Shaggy both end up on the road to Oz and soon find the lost boy Button-Bright. The Butterfield reference may be why the tracks look "yellow as butter" at the end, though of course it's also a reference to the yellow brick road. It's interesting that Little Tib can see this color.

AngelMiracleSide EffectVision
   Doctor visit
   Emerald City
Waving bearstop gas
heal Parker's mind
fever, pass outTiktok
Giant Woman
Tiktokhealed girl's leg  
LionDanced in airfever, pass outGnome King
Metal Forest
Scarecrowget through door
exorcise computer
Tin Woodsmancause rain
protect from father
remove mask, conditioning
computer room
Wizard of Oztime replay with father's
false identity erased
Dorothyfind Nitty / Shaggy Man
road to Sugarland / Oz
 yellow "road"

Articles and Essays

Essays on Oz references by William H. Ansley (posted to the Urth List):

Unanswered Questions

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